Background: With a sudden rise in population throughout the globe there is a surge in the medico-legal cases as well. These medico-legal cases differ among regions based on socio-economic status, cultural diversities, capability of law enforcing agencies and the prevailing standards of health care services available in the community.
Aims and Objectives: To know the pattern and profile of medico-legal cases in a tertiary care hospital.
Materials and Methods: This is a prospective study in which 4066 medico-legal cases were studied. This cases attended in Casualty department, J.J.M. Medical College and Bapuji Hospital from 1st October 2014 to 30th September 2015 and the information was collected with respect to their demographic profile, age and sex wise distribution, time period between injury and reporting to casualty, time of occurrence, type of injury, manner of injury, prognosis and the mortality profile.
Results: Out of 4066 cases studied, 2918 (71.76%) were males and 1148 (28.23%) were females. Majority of the victims belonged to an age group ranging 21 – 30 years of age (37.67%). The urban victims constituted 2134 (52.48%) compared to the rural counterparts, 1932 (47.51%). Road traffic accidents constituted a majority of cases (47.73%), poisoning and fall constituted 16.84% each followed by assault in 6.19% of cases. Majority of the victims (51.94%) reported to the casualty within 1 hour of incident. 78.99% of the victims were discharged from the hospital after treatment. The peak time of attending to the casualty was during 12 pm to 6 pm and the manner of injuries were accidental in nature in majority of the cases (69.03%).
Conclusion: This study shows the frequency of medico-legal workload in a tertiary care hospital, public attention and awareness towards medico-legal emergencies, urges round the clock availability of medico-legal experts to deal effectively with the legal responsibilities, sensitize the doctors to handle those cases including proper documentation and certification of medico-legal cases and also provides a valuable information for government, health care policy makers, law enforcing agencies to take effective measures.
Keywords: Medico-legal cases, Road traffic accidents, Poisoning, Fall, Assault.